AAA’s Tow 2 Go Program Starts Friday

AAA is helping keep drunk drivers off the road with its free Tow 2 Go program.

AAA is helping keep drunk drivers off the road with its free Tow 2 Go program. It starts Friday and goes through 6 a.m. Monday.

This free service is designed as a last resort for drunk drivers and is available to anyone who needs to use it. Through the program, a AAA tow truck will take the driver and their vehicle home, or somewhere safe within a 10-mile radius.

To get in contact with a tow truck driver, call 855-2-TOW-2-GO.

All 95 Tennessee Counties Offering Same-Sex Marriage Certificates

County Clerks in 2 Middle Tennessee Counties say they will stop offering civil marriage ceremonies in the offices. Hickman County Clerk Casey Dorton says he stopped offering the ceremony Friday following a decision upholding same-sex unions by the US Supreme Court. Dorton says he has religious objection to same-sex marriages. A website posting says the Williamson County Clerk’s office will also stop the practice. Wayne County’s Court Clerk stopped offering marriage ceremonies last Friday after the ruling overturned Tennessee’s anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment. Rutherford County dropped the service in May, citing budget and staff shortfalls. Coffee County hasn’t offered civil marriage ceremonies for several years. Republican Coffee County Mayor Gary Cordell says his office has never offered the service. State law doesn’t require any elected official to perform marriage. All 95 Tennessee County Clerks are or will issue same-sex licenses.

Truck Driver that Caused Massive Chattanooga Pile Up Wanted on Drug Charges

The long haul truck driver who slammed his rig into traffic on a congested interstate last Thursday resulting in six deaths is wanted on drug charges in Wisconsin. Benjamin Brewer, age 39, was behind the wheel of the rig when it smashed into more than a dozen cars slowed for construction work on I-75 in Chattanooga. He was charged with illegally trying to fill prescriptions for powerful narcotics in 2013. Brewer missed his court date for that charge. At the time, Brewer told authorities he had been seeing a doctor in Murfreesboro for back pain. He claimed the doctor closed his practice, forcing him to try to fill pain pills prescriptions elsewhere. Brewer was cited for careless driving in Florida the day before the fatal crash. The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports Brewer has not been charged in connection with the massive wreck.

Manchester Hospital Merger Becomes a Reality

After a decade of legal wrangling and bureaucratic infighting, two competing Manchester Hospitals have merged. Unity Medical Center was formed yesterday as the former United Regional Medical Center moved from it’s McArthur Drive location to the Medical Center of Manchester facility on Interstate Drive. Some limited tests will still be offered at the old United Regional location. Investors bought the County Hospital 13 years ago. They repeatedly attempted to get state approval to expand the facility a move that was challenged by the Medical Center of Manchester and Harton Regional Medical Center. Both hospitals announced the merger in September.

Struggling TN Virtual Academy to Limit Enrollment

Tennessee’s long Virtual Academy has agreed to limit enrollment this fall only to students now in the struggling school. The online effort operated through the private K12 Corporation has struggled academically since it opened in 2011 and was set for closure by the state until a judge intervened, ruling it could stay in business for now. The academy earned the lowest achievement scales possible during the 2014 school year. It will face closure again if student marks don’t improve dramatically at the end of this school term. The Tennessean reports the academy agreed to concentrate on current students with the approval of Education Commissioner Candice McQueen.

CSX Train Derails in Tennessee Forcing Evacuations

An East State Train Derailment and resulting fire forces the evacuation of some 5,000 living nearby. A 60 car CSX Freight Train ran off the tracks in Maryville in Blount County early this morning. WATE-TV reports a tanker car loaded with a chemical used for manufacturing plastic caught fire, spewing toxic fumes into the air. Officials ordered the evacuation, directing residents to nearby churches and shopping malls for temporary shelter. Seven Blount County Deputies were hospitalized after being exposed to the fumes. Authorities say residents may be kept from their homes through Friday. The Red Cross, TEMA and other agencies are on the scene.

Police Chase Ends in Murfreesboro with 3 Arrest

Three people were arrested after reportedly fleeing from police and crashing into an officer’s vehicle Wednesday in Rutherford County.

The pursuit began after officers responded to a shoplifting call at Walmart on Old Fort Parkway around 4:45 p.m.

Authorities said the shoplifting suspects attempted to run over the responding officers who were on foot in the parking lot.

When the suspects allegedly refused to stop, officers pursued their vehicle for several miles until the suspects entered Interstate 24 at the South Church Street ramp.

The suspects’ vehicle reportedly left the interstate and traveled into the grassy area between the interstate and the on-ramp.

According to police, the suspect’s vehicle drove into the path of pursuing officers and a minor crash occurred.

Authorities said the suspects could not drive any further due to the steep terrain. All three suspects were taken into custody without incident.

No injuries were reported.

Charges are pending against the three occupants.

The crash was being investigated by the Tennessee Highway Patrol. The Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the chase and apprehension of the suspects.